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Co-Elevation: A way to increase team fluidity, speed and outcomes

Community Manager
Community Manager
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In collaboration with the Global Mentor Network, New York Times best-seller author Keith Ferrazzi will share details regarding his newest book, Lead Without Authority, during an upcoming webinar on 11.18.20 @ 9am PST - registration and more details can be found HERE.


We asked Keith to provide some high level details about the central thesis of the book; here's what he shared...


Today, managing our network is how we get things done. Working inside large organizations requires working across departments and even countries to maximize productivity; cutting across silos and managing interdependencies in order to unleash shareholder value. Often, we don’t have the resources to do our jobs well, but we do have the responsibility, and it requires us to manage through that network inside of an organization.


One of the main resources that’s become a premium is coaching. Coaching inside of organizations has become a bit of a crisis, and even the most dedicated and engaged manager is seeing that resource dry up. None of us have time to coach like we used to. So, not only do we have to live in collaborative networks to get work done, but our development needs to be shifted not just from the manager looking up, but out into that network itself.


This calls for a new approach to collaboration.

I have been working on a new book, and its focus is predominantly on a subject that is crucial to the future of work: we will not only find our opportunity in our networks, but our networks are the basis of the future of how work gets done.


The golden gem that will bring the riches to the modern-day manager is not the commitment to development. The solution that people don’t see is the ability of the network itself to create an elevated support system. What will make or break the modern manager is finding, building and maintaining relationships that are not one-sided or top-down, but rather together and up.


The key is in what I call the “co-elevation” of relationships.


Collaboration just isn’t enough anymore.

Around the networks and the relationships we have, we need to redefine the actual contract of working together from collaborating to co-elevating. This means that we’re not only working together, we’re making a commitment to each other to go higher; to take each other to a more elevated level. This, and this alone, will allow us to exceed shareholder expectations through our interdependency management.


This new co-elevation contract recognizes that not everyone will appreciate or understand that the contract exists. Therefore, the true responsibility for you as a leader is to shift your point of view to leading from inside your network – become the leader of the network, whether you’re a member or whether you’re officially the facilitator of that group of individuals.


Yes, even if you are not in charge, you must take charge.

The responsibility is for everything, and it starts with you.


What I mean by this is that it’s all on you to recognize who are the most critical people that you need to achieve the work you need to get done. Once you identify them, then your commitment is to be of service to those individuals. This principle has not changed, and can be seen from the very beginning of Never Eat Alone.


The fact is that one needs to lead with generosity and in service of developing deeper relationships, even more so now inside of organizations. Those informal teams, however, must satisfy the needs of both the group and each individual as well. You need to be asking the question, “What’s in it for the others so that they create primacy around this work, along with myself?”


Now that you know it is all on you, and that, ultimately, it’s really all about them, the next question is, can you design a co-creation agenda that works for everyone?


The way that no longer works: Leaders running a project seeking buy in among the network. The way it must work in the future: Leaders owning a project and seeking to co-create the answer to co-elevate the team, which results in buy in.


The process of co-elevation does not mean consensus, what it means is a greater candor. Candor is crucial because we have created, within this network, the kind of relationships that are committed not only to the mission, but also to each other. The feedback can and should be both be fluid and flowing. The ability to work well together in this new type of group is rooted in team members caring about each other’s success. When this new co-elevation occurs, this team can work much more fluently and interdependently.


The new perspective must be of going on a shared journey. That journey is not only to achieve the outcome, but to co-elevate and develop each other in the process.


This new principle, co-elevation is the foundation for Keith's upcoming book.

What Never Eat Alone did for networking, we’re going to do for the subject of modern teamwork and collaboration, and it will be called co-elevation.